Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Drafting M15: Green Commons

In this series I will try to review all the cards of M15, starting with the commons.

Here they are, in order of perceived power for Draft.

Netcaster Spider: This little guy just does it all. He is a huge improvement over Giant Spider. He blocks most things and stops blue decks dead in their tracks (until he is Frost Lynxed). He laughs in the face of Shadowborn Vampires.

Siege Wurm: A 5/5 that can relatively reliably come out on turn 5 is not to be sneezed at. The trample ability makes it so much extra useful.

Elvish Mystic: So many things are wrong for the mana elf of this set which puts him down a notch or two. - x/1 creatures are having a hard time in a world of Forge Devils and Festerglooms. Every creature can tap for mana some of the time when convoke is a thing. This card also does very little when you draw it late game. Still, it can power out some explosive starts that just win you the game.

Charging Rhino: Just a very reliable creature that will do a lot of work once it hits the battlefield. Unexciting but stable.

Living Totem: There is a chance you have no target but if you have built a deck with a solid curve you shoudl be fine. Often, the extra point of power can be added to an evasive creature. Best in Blue Green.

Invasive Species: Casting him on turn three is often a very sad experience. There is a deck for him where he acts as a complement to Roaring Primadox. Often you have to cast Invasive Species later than turn three for maximum value. If you have to return a land to cast this guy turn three you are not enjoying yourself.

Hunt the Weak: This is what you get when you are green. That is a lot of cost added to a Prey Upon. Still, you have to take what you get, unless your other color is Red or Black.

Shaman of Spring: It feels so good to cast this guy. There are many reasons to pick him higher: Invasive Species, Roaring Primadox and if your deck has an expensive top end (which is probably not a good idea anyway). Better in Sealed Deck.

Titanic Growth: Two mana is not cheap for a combat trick. Giant Growth is much better. Still, it does what you want it to do most of the time. Then you draw it without a creature some of the time. It is best as a tempo play but given that you are green, you are probably not the deck with the best tempo. Most creatures are better. Gathering Courage is better.

Runeclaw Bear: Just a very reliable creature. There are a lot of irritating 2/3s in the format though.

Plummet: Excellent sideboard card. Maindecking one is OK as three colors have playable flyers and it is very likely that your opponent is playing at least one of those colors (especially as you are green).

Ranger's Guile: Best used as a sideboard card against a deck with a lot of removal. Wasting a card to get a temporary +1/+1 bonus is hard to get a card worth of value from. The fact that you can't use it on your opponent's creatures really hurt this card.

Undergrowth Scavenger: You will only see this card when he is really good and appears on turn 12 to win the game. You will not see every game your opponent has this card in hand when you run him over with Grizzly Bears. Play only if you have plenty of removal.

Satyr Wayfinder: The ability is very useful but the 1/1 body is unimpressive unless you can use it to power out Siege Wurms.

Carnivorous Moss-Beast: This format is faster than M14 was. If you are going to play six-drops you want them to be souls or at least Ancient Silverbacks. You do not want to put this flesh-eating plant in your deck.

Verdant Haven: You have to be three colors AND you have to need the acceleration for some powerful five or six drops for this card to be good and even then you should be looking for other cards. Goes well with In Garruk's Wake, but that is just something you play for fun.

Hunter's Ambush: Combat tricks are generally overrated and this is not a good one. After the first time you have managed to set up a situation where this actually was really good you are in danger of being result oriented and then overvalue the card. It is a fog with upside. Play a creature instead.

Naturalize: I have had fantasies about main decking this card but I don't think this is the format for it, despite the artifact sub-theme.

Vineweft: This card does not do a lot. Play the 19th land instead.

Overall, Green commons are not that impressive. If you are playing green, you are probably doing it because of some rares or uncommons you picked up in the draft.

Bonus video: My buddy Bava 3-0s this draft with UB Tempo

Here is an interesting vote about card ratings in M15 that I found useful:

Next time: Black!

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